These are samples of two icon themes for Linux desktops with the same goal in mind: usability and breathtaking beauty. The problem is, Oxygen (the bottom two icons) is being created by David Vignoni for the KDE Appeal Project, which will appear in KDE 4 (and most likely Kubuntu and SuSE, since David has a SuSE contract). Not sure if Linspire will pick them up or continue to hire Everaldo to work on Crystal icons. Although, he might involve himself in Oxygen anyway.
Tango (the top two icons) on the other hand, is being created by Novell Developers and is in a very loose collaboration with the freedesktop.org folks. Their idea is to create a unified desktop across platforms that is both usable and breathtaking (BlueCurve, anyone?). They expect Gnome and KDE to just pick up these icons and sing the la-la-la-la-la happy desktop song.
Of course this is what RedHat tried way back in RedHat Linux 9, with the BlueCurve theme for KDE and Gnome. Didn’t work then, and won’t work now. Gnome wants to have its own unique, beautiful icons. KDE wants to have its own unique, beautiful icons. Distributions want unique icons (“ubuntify icons” was a priority goal for the Ubuntu Breezy 5.10 release).
Nice try Novell, but merging the Gnome and KDE projects would probably be easier than declaring a universal icon theme for all to use.
I think Oxygen looks better so far, in case you’re wondering.
UPDATE: It has been pointed out that Tango isn’t being forced on distributions. Of course I understand that. But I still interpret the goal of the project as attempting yet another Desktop Linux unification “strategery”. You can consider that good or bad. Opinions welcome.